A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now old, getting on in years,#24:1 Lit days#Gn 18:11; Jos 13:1; 23:1–2; 1Kg 1:1 and the Lord had blessed him in everything. 2Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his household who managed all he owned, “Place your hand under my thigh,#Gn 47:29; Ex 1:5 3and I will have you swear by the Lord, God of heaven and God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live,#Gn 26:34,35; 27:46; Dt 7:3; 2Co 6:14 4but will go to my land and my family to take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5The servant said to him, “Suppose the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Should I have your son go back to the land you came from?”
6Abraham answered him, “Make sure that you don’t take my son back there. 7The Lord, the God of heaven,#2Ch 36:23; Ezr 1:2 who took me from my father’s house and from my native land,#Gn 12:1 who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘I will give this land to your offspring’#24:7 Lit seed#Gn 12:7; 13:15; 15:18; Ex 32:13 — he will send his angel before you,#Gn 16:7; 21:17; 22:11; Ex 23:20,23 and you can take a wife for my son from there. 8If the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you are free from this oath to me,#Jos 2:17–20 but don’t let my son go back there.” 9So the servant placed his hand under his master Abraham’s thigh and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
10The servant took ten of his master’s camels, and with all kinds of his master’s goods in hand, he went to Aram-naharaim, to Nahor’s town. 11At evening, the time when women went out to draw water, he made the camels kneel beside a well outside the town.
12“Lord, God of my master Abraham,” he prayed, “make this happen for me today,#Gn 27:20 and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13I am standing here#Gn 24:43–44 at the spring where the daughters of the men of the town are coming out to draw water. 14Let the girl to whom I say, ‘Please lower your water jug so that I may drink,’ and who responds, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels also’ — let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
15Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah — daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah,#Gn 11:29; 22:23 the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor — coming with a jug on her shoulder. 16Now the girl was very beautiful,#Gn 12:11; 26:7; 29:17 a virgin — no man had been intimate with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up. 17Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me have a little water from your jug.”
18She replied, “Drink, my lord.” She quickly lowered her jug to her hand and gave him a drink. 19When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll also draw water for your camels until they have had enough to drink.”#24:19 Lit they are finished drinking 20She quickly emptied her jug into the trough and hurried to the well again to draw water. She drew water for all his camels 21while the man silently watched her to see whether or not the Lord had made his journey a success.
22As the camels finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing half a shekel, and for her wrists two bracelets weighing ten shekels of gold. 23“Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
24She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25She also said to him, “We have plenty of straw and feed and a place to spend the night.”
26Then the man knelt low, worshiped the Lord,#Ex 4:31 27and said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld his kindness and faithfulness from my master.#Ru 2:20; Ezr 9:9; Neh 9:17 As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28The girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban,#Gn 25:20; 28:2; 29:5 and Laban ran out to the man at the spring. 30As soon as he had seen the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he had heard his sister Rebekah’s words — “The man said this to me!” — he went to the man. He was standing there by the camels at the spring.
31Laban said, “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord.#Gn 26:29; Jdg 17:2; Ru 3:10 Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32So the man came to the house, and the camels were unloaded.#Gn 43:24; Jdg 19:21 Straw and feed were given to the camels, and water was brought to wash his feet and the feet of the men with him.
33A meal was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I have to say.”
So Laban said, “Please speak.”
34“I am Abraham’s servant,” he said. 35“The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become rich. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys. 36Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master in her#24:36 Sam, LXX read his old age,#Gn 21:2 and he has given him everything he owns.#Gn 25:5 37My master put me under this oath: ‘You will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I live 38but will go to my father’s family and to my clan to take a wife for my son.’ 39But I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman will not come back with me?’ 40He said to me, ‘The Lord before whom I have walked#Gn 17:1; 1Sm 2:30; 1Kg 2:4; 8:23; 2Kg 20:3; Ps 116:9 will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, and you will take a wife for my son from my clan and from my father’s family. 41Then you will be free from my oath if you go to my family and they do not give her to you — you will be free from my oath.’
42“Today when I came to the spring, I prayed: Lord, God of my master Abraham, if only you will make my journey successful! 43I am standing here at a spring. Let the young woman#24:43 Or the virgin who comes out to draw water, and I say to her, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jug,’ 44and who responds to me, ‘Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels also’ — let her be the woman the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.
45“Before I had finished praying silently,#1Sm 1:13 there was Rebekah coming with her jug on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please let me have a drink.’ 46She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels also.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels. 47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you? ’ She responded, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose#Ezk 16:11–12 and the bracelets on her wrists. 48Then I knelt low, worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who guided me on the right way to take the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49Now, if you are going to show kindness and faithfulness to my master,#Gn 47:29; Jos 2:14 tell me; if not, tell me, and I will go elsewhere.”#24:49 Lit go to the right or to the left
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter.#24:50 Lit we cannot say to you anything bad or good#Gn 31:24,29; 2Sm 13:22 51Rebekah is here in front of you. Take her and go, and let her be a wife for your master’s son, just as the Lord has spoken.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed to the ground before the Lord. 53Then he brought out objects of silver and gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious gifts to her brother and her mother. 54Then he and the men with him ate and drank and spent the night.
When they got up in the morning, he said, “Send me to my master.”
55But her brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay with us for about ten days. Then she#24:55 Or you can go.”
56But he responded to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has made my journey a success. Send me away so that I may go to my master.”
57So they said, “Let’s call the girl and ask her opinion.”#24:57 Lit mouth
58They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
She replied, “I will go.” 59So they sent away their sister Rebekah with the one who had nursed and raised her,#24:59 Lit with her wet nurse; Gn 35:8#Gn 35:8 and Abraham’s servant and his men.
60They blessed Rebekah, saying to her:
Our sister, may you become
thousands upon ten thousands.#Gn 17:16
May your offspring possess
the city gates of their#24:60 Lit his enemies.#Gn 22:17
61Then Rebekah and her female servants got up, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62Now Isaac was returning from Beer-lahai-roi,#24:62 = A Well of the Living One Who Sees Me#Gn 16:14; 25:11 for he was living in the Negev region. 63In the early evening Isaac went out to walk#24:63 Or pray, or meditate; Hb obscure in the field, and looking up he saw camels coming. 64Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she got down from her camel 65and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
The servant answered, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done.
67And Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah and took Rebekah to be his wife. Isaac loved her, and he was comforted after his mother’s death.#Gn 23:1–2
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1And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and Jehovah had blessed Abraham in all things. 2And Abraham said unto his servant, the elder of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3and I will make thee swear by Jehovah, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that thou wilt not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 4but thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac. 5And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? 6And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. 7Jehovah, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my nativity, and who spake unto me, and who sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he will send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife for my son from thence. 8And if the woman be not willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath; only thou shalt not bring my son thither again. 9And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning this matter.
10And the servant took ten camels, of the camels of his master, and departed, having all goodly things of his master’s in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. 11And he made the camels to kneel down without the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water. 12And he said, O Jehovah, the God of my master Abraham, send me, I pray thee, good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham. 13Behold, I am standing by the fountain of water; and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water: 14and let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master. 15And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. 16And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the fountain, and filled her pitcher, and came up. 17And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Give me to drink, I pray thee, a little water from thy pitcher. 18And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. 19And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. 20And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw, and drew for all his camels. 21And the man looked stedfastly on her, holding his peace, to know whether Jehovah had made his journey prosperous or not. 22And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold, 23and said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee. Is there room in thy father’s house for us to lodge in? 24And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bare unto Nahor. 25She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in. 26And the man bowed his head, and worshipped Jehovah. 27And he said, Blessed be Jehovah, the God of my master Abraham, who hath not forsaken his lovingkindness and his truth toward my master: as for me, Jehovah hath led me in the way to the house of my master’s brethren.
28And the damsel ran, and told her mother’s house according to these words. 29And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the fountain. 30And it came to pass, when he saw the ring, and the bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he was standing by the camels at the fountain. 31And he said, Come in, thou blessed of Jehovah; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. 32And the man came into the house, and he ungirded the camels; and he gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men that were with him. 33And there was set food before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on. 34And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. 35And Jehovah hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and men-servants and maid-servants, and camels and asses. 36And Sarah my master’s wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath. 37And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell: 38but thou shalt go unto my father’s house, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son. 39And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me. 40And he said unto me, Jehovah, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house: 41then shalt thou be clear from my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give her not to thee, thou shalt be clear from my oath. 42And I came this day unto the fountain, and said, O Jehovah, the God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go: 43behold, I am standing by the fountain of water; and let it come to pass, that the maiden that cometh forth to draw, to whom I shall say, Give me, I pray thee, a little water from thy pitcher to drink; 44and she shall say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom Jehovah hath appointed for my master’s son. 45And before I had done speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the fountain, and drew: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee. 46And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also. 47And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the ring upon her nose, and the bracelets upon her hands. 48And I bowed my head, and worshipped Jehovah, and blessed Jehovah, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter for his son. 49And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from Jehovah: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. 51Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as Jehovah hath spoken. 52And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth unto Jehovah. 53And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things. 54And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master. 55And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go. 56And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing Jehovah hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master. 57And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. 58And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. 59And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let thy seed possess the gate of those that hate them.
61And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way. 62And Isaac came from the way of Beer-lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the land of the South. 63And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, there were camels coming. 64And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she alighted from the camel. 65And she said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant said, It is my master: and she took her veil, and covered herself. 66And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. And Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.